Friday, March 11, 2016
Emery: Same sex marriage supporters are intolerant of opposing views
The Missouri Senate made national news this week because of the minority party’s filibuster of Senate Joint Resolution 39. It’s probably just a coincidence, but the filibuster lasted approximately 39 hours from Monday afternoon into Wednesday morning. It was ended by a previous question (PQ) to end debate and vote. It was reported that four and a half hours of negotiations failed to resolve the difference.
Senate Joint Resolution 39 was precipitated by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) opinion ofObergefell v. Hodges. The SCOTUS opinion was completely outside both constitutional jurisdictions of the court and the limits of natural law. Even though the state’s role in marriage had never extended beyond official acknowledgement for taxation and legal purposes, SCOTUS took unauthorized and unprecedented ownership.
A new threat was thereby created against anyone with a biblically directed conscience. Senate Joint Resolution 39 addresses the threat by sending the question of freedom of conscience to the people of Missouri. The constitutional amendment, if passed by the Missouri House, will be on the ballot in either August or November of 2016. Please watch for it and be sure to vote your opinion.
Not all of us in Senate District 31 agree on every issue, but many of you may be as bewildered as I am by the marriage redefinition and how a nation with our heritage could arrive at such a destination.
Nevertheless, SJR39 is void of judgmental opinion. It is entitled “Freedom of Religious Belief” and expresses no opinion on homosexual behavior or the SCOTUS opinion. It merely protects the consciences of clergy and the sincerely held religious beliefs of churches. Additionally, there are laser-focused protections for those who might be threatened with lawsuits if their conscience prevented them from contributing their expression or artistic services in same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Even though the affected numbers engaged in same-sex marriages may be very small, some of their numbers have proven to be both litigant and intolerant of alternative views. Consequently, SJR39 passed 23 to 7 in defense of the foundational right to conscience and freedom of religious convictions, without fear of the power of the state. It is infinitely important to understand that SJR39 is a shield, not a sword.